A Quick pre-Minipalooza Potpourri

It’s the last day of summer session. My Brit survey kids (including the Spawn) are taking their finals. After I do my walking, I’ll spend the evening (and possibly some of tomorrow, but I hope not) getting the grading done.

They’ve both been pretty good classes — very good, by summer term standards. The work I’ve received has ranged from solid to excellent, and the kids have been willing to meet with me and discuss their works in progress. At least one kid (that I didn’t sire) has told me he might start reading more poetry. I’ll take that.

And I have to admit — having the Spawn read Philip Larkin’s “This Be the Verse” to the rest of the class yesterday will be one of the most cherished moments of my career. (She told me she liked doing it as well — I taught her the poem years ago — but she “had to act embarrassed,” since Prof. Dad had called on her.)

I do delight in teaching the Spawn, both because she’s my kid and because she’s very bright and perceptive. She seems to enjoy it too — she told Mrs. M that even if I weren’t her dad, she’d think I was an excellent lecturer. And she takes good notes (a skill I never really developed outside of journalism, which drove at least one of my grad school professors nuts. I’ve looked through her notes on occasion this term, just to see what if anything she’s picking up from this stuff I do. I was tickled to see that at one point (during the Shakespeare lecture, where I was ragging on the anti-Stratfordians), she wrote: “Dad is ON FIRE!” I’ll take that too.

So I’ll wrap up my grading and take a month or so to think, play music, read, write (if I’m lucky) and walk, before I get back to designing my fall courses. I’m glad I have this job, and I’m grateful for the kids, the parents who send them my way, and the folks who support this little, out-of-the-way place where I can do it.


Alternating feet report. I did another treadmill 5K yesterday — not my fastest time ever, but not my slowest, either. I got some satisfaction out of it, however, because I wanted to quit after the first couple of miles, but went ahead and finished up.

In a way, it reminded me of my days as a kid football player. I played ball in a Nashville suburb that was essentially a factory town for a DuPont Chemical plant. My coaches typically worked there, moving barrels of God-knows-what between Points A and B. At least one of my coaches had been partially disemboweled by a forklift. They had names like Billy Joe and Frog (he of the forklift accident, and that name was pronounced “FRAWG”, in the best Middle Tennessee manner). Theirs was not a gentle life, and their approach to youth league football reflected that. Practices started in August, and they had never heard of anything but full pads and full contact. While not “The Junction Boys” with training wheels, it was tough, even — perhaps especially — for an oversized, bookish kid like me (oversized enough, in fact, that my parents would bring my birth certificate to every game to ward off the inevitable protest). I remember doing set after set of grass drills (also called up/downs — run in place; on the whistle (or the cry “Hit it!”), drop to the ground; on the whistle, roll left or right; on the whistle, back up and running.), with tears mixing with the sweat on my 10-year-old face, hoping we could just go ahead and get to the hitting. But I did it, and by the end of the season, I was typically in pretty good shape and we were invariably in the running for the city title (which we won one year.) I don’t know that it built character, but it did build a certain level of determination I think.

And I finished my 5K yesterday, and I’ll do a couple more miles today before I grade. In the meantime, as of this morning, I’ve lost slightly more than this much:

Aquafina 32

16.9 oz x 32, + bottles and plastic wrap = ca. 35 lbs.

If you want to go with the grand total from my all-time peak weight, add another 32-pack. I still have a long way to go, but it beats being eviscerated on a loading dock. I think.


The Berries have a show coming up in a couple of days up near Greenville. One of our members lives up that way, and another member has connections up there as well, so I’m hoping we get a good crowd. Doubtless a gig report will follow.


And since it’s a potpourri entry, here’s the obligatory music post. We’re planning to debut this cover on Friday, with Your Genial Host doing vocals. I tend to sing most of our covers, possibly because I know at least some of the lyrics when we start fooling around with the chords. But anyway, I’ve always liked this one, the first hit that Mick and Keith wrote together.

Enjoy your day, and we’ll talk again soon!


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Alternating Feet, Culture, Education, Family, Literature, Music, Why I Do What I Do. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Quick pre-Minipalooza Potpourri

  1. Fudd says:

    As far as objectively rating your lecturing skills, it was many years ago that I sat in, but I concur 🤘

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